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‘Sri Lanka@100’ conducts first capacity-building seminar in Kegalle

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Sri Lanka@100, a private sector-led initiative focused on the growth of mid-market enterprises – funded by the U.S. government’s International development Agency, USAID, and administered by Stax – was launched in September. The platform, designed to help mid-market companies island wide get better access to high-caliber business advisory services, conducted its first capacity building event in Kegalle on September 29 in conjunction with the Kegalle Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture.

The seminar emphasized the need for selecting appropriate growth options and executing them with focus. A senior consultant at Stax, Thivanka Bandara, spoke at length about the pitfalls of diversifying too quickly and too broadly, without the necessary focus. The seminar concluded with discussions on a systematic framework for growth, and successful examples of diversification through focus.

Welcoming representatives from over 40 leading businesses in the area, the president of the Kegalle Chamber of Commerce, Tissa Ranatunga, emphasized the importance of the platform’s aim to make Sri Lanka a high-income country, adding he hoped the businesses there would be contributors to making that vision a reality. This sentiment was echoed by Platform Co-Founder, Dr. Kumudu Gunasekera, who said, “Development can come in many forms. We don’t have to only undertake massive ‘hard development’ projects like building dams or roads. Building global brands and businesses that can help Sri Lanka shine—that kind of intangible development is also crucial. You can all help make that happen.”

Delivering the keynote address, minister Balasuriya pointed to several examples of local companies that have been successful in this manner at regional and global level. While acknowledging that state policies also play an important role in supporting such companies to grow, he praised the Sri Lanka@100 Platform for promoting private sector-led growth. “While the government is of course responsible for the well-being of all citizens, we must move away from this mindset of expecting the public sector to provide more and more jobs. We will only be able to rejuvenate our economy if we have an extremely strong private sector, because even in challenging times such as now, there are still many pockets of opportunities for growth that private entrepreneurs are capitalizing on.”

Sri Lanka@100 is accepting applications from mid-sized firms seeking advisory support for rapid growth. The eligibility criteria, application process, and deadlines are listed on the SL@100 website (www.srilanka100.lk) and its social media platforms.

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realme dares to leap into Sri Lankan youth market with cutting edge devices

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realme, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, launched its products in Sri Lanka on the November 23. The virtual launch event took place with the participation of Chanux bro and realme Sri Lanka team where benchmark, trendsetting realme products were introduced to the Sri Lankan market.

The launch expands the reach of the fastest smartphone brand to reach 50 million product sales worldwide, to a brand new market with young users looking for the very best in technology and smart devices. Ranked among the Top 5 brands in over 13 markets globally in just two years of operation, realme is ranked seventh globally. Proclaiming it will ‘dare to leap’, realme identifies with young people who are willing to take a risk, and has launched four cutting edge products to the Sri Lanka market, set to exceed expectations.

realme 7 – sharper captures and cooler gaming with faster charges

realme 7 grabs the imagination of the youth with a 64MP Quad Camera with Sony IMX682 sensor for sharper captures, the World’s First MediaTek Helio G95 Gaming Processor for cool gaming and a 30W Dart Charge, taking just 26 mins to get 5000mAh battery 50% Charged. The sleek smartphone comes with a 6.5-inch 90Hz Ultra Smooth Display with a 16MP In-display Selfie Camera and Starry Mode.

The first smartphone to have passed TÜV Rheinland Smartphone Reliability, realme 7 is the first in segment smartphone with the Sony 64MP Quad Camera.

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President to inaugurate CCC Sri Lanka Economic Summit

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Sri Lanka’s foremost economic summit will be inaugurated by Chief Guest Gotabaya Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka on December 1. The summit is themed “Roadmap for Take-off: Driving a People Centric Economic Revival”. The President will also deliver the inaugural address.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, will launch the second phase of the summit on December 2 and participate in the VVIP session focused on “Empowering Take-off: Efficient Government and Progressive State Enterprises.”

The Inaugural session on December 1, commencing at 8.30am will feature addresses by keynote speaker Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs of the Republic of India and Guest of Honour Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms. Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya – chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will deliver the welcome address.

The flagship summit will be held on a virtual format in compliance with health guidelines and will bring together key policymakers, business leaders as well as the input of top international thought leaders will come together to identify the steps in developing the pathway towards the accelerated and people centric revival of the country’s economy.

Participants may register for the entire two-day virtual summit, or pick the sessions of their choice, an opportunity offered for the first time. Registrations for the event are now open. For further information, please contact Niroshini on niroshini@chamber.lk or 0115588852; or Alikie on alikie@chamber.lk or 0115588805. (CCC)

 

 

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Central Bank’s policy rates decision to be driven by two options

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank will be reviewing its monetary policy stance on November 26. In this context, First Capital Research has put forward strong arguments both for and against an interest rate cut, in its Pre-Policy Analysis.

Making their argument against further relaxation in monetary policy First Capital said, “As a response to the measures taken by the government, private sector credit has improved to Rs. 87.4Bn in September while market liquidity reached Rs. 140 bn by 13th Nov indicating that there is surplus liquidity in the system. Moreover, the unemployment rate, which was at 5.7% in the 1Q2020 has declined to 5.4% in the second quarter. These indicators suggest that economic activity has remained steady without much deterioration in the 2Q. Except the GDP growth numbers, where the 2Q2020 figures are yet to be seen, other indicators are signifying a recovery, inquiring the need of further policy easing at the upcoming review”.

“In response to previous monetary easing measures implemented by CBSL, to bring down costs of borrowing of businesses and households, both market deposit and lending rates adjusted notably so far during the year. AWPR declined to historic lows in recent weeks, while banks’ lending rates also witnessed a downward adjustment in line with CBSL’s expectations. We believe that considering the recovery in the private credit and historic low levels in AWPR, there is no vital requirement for CBSL to provide a rate cut and to further bring down the market lending rates drastically”.

Their arguments for further relaxation in monetary policy was: “A thrust for development is the need of the current government. We estimate that Sri Lanka’s GDP would see its steepest contraction in history of -5.8% in 2020 following the unexpected contraction in 1Q GDP growth of -1.6% while 2Q GDP figures are yet to be seen. However, the government’s key drive is the development oriented economic growth which was spelt out through the budget 2021 as well. Accordingly, the government plans to reach 6% and above GDP growth during the next 5 years commencing from 2021. As we believe, a development-oriented budget coupled with further low interest rate environment can support the government’s medium-term goals. Therefore, the need to accelerate the GDP growth can be considered as a major factor favouring further policy easing at the upcoming review.”

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